Extracts from the joint press conference by Andrus Ansip, and Vĕra Jourová, on transatlantic data transfers following the ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU in the case Schrems
Type: Press conference - summary
Brussels - EC/Berlaymont
On 6 November 2015, Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Digital Single Market, and Vĕra Jourová, Member of the EC in charge of Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, gave a joint press conference on transatlantic data transfers following the ruling dated from the same day of the Court of Justice of the EU in the case Schrems (C-362/14) on Approximation of laws. This ruling underlined the importance of the fundamental right to data protection, including where personal data was transferred to third countries.The EC had been working since January 2014 to make data transfers safer for European citizens on the basis of 13 recommendations. Following the Court ruling it had stepped up negotiations with the United States on a renewed and safe framework on transfer of personal data. The objective of the European Commission was to conclude these discussions within the three following months.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the Berlaymont building in Brussels
||Arrival of Vĕra Jourová, Member of the EC in charge of Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, and Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Digital Single Market, at the press conference
||SOUNDBITE by Andrus Ansip (in ENLGISH): Business is global business and there is still a need to protect data of Europeans in the US. We got Safe Harbour in 2000. The idea was good to protect data of Europeans in the US. But then we understood that Safe Harbour is not safe.
||Cutaway of the audience
||SOUNDBITE by Andrus Ansip (in ENGLISH): I want to reassure citizens and consumers that their data is protected. Without trust from our citizens, a functioning Digital Single Market based on data will not work. This Communication also provides clarity to our companies on alternatives. Free flow of data will not be unduly disrupted. We regularly meet business leaders and companies. All are calling us to avoid a patchwork of rules and enforcement in Europe. I want to support them especially our SMEs and start-ups, and avoid a Digital Single Market with additional barriers. Finally this Communication confirms our commitment to quickly reach common solutions with the US. I believe Europe and the US have all tools at hands to achieve this in three months. But I want to be clear. We need a bullet-proof solution.
||Cutaway of the audience
||SOUNDBITE by Vĕra Jourová (in ENGLISH): It is the task of the national Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) to supervise that data exporters live up to their responsibility. They will work together in this to avoid a fragmentation of the European Digital Single Market. As you can see, companies do face some limitations when relying on alternative transfer tools. This is why the Commission strongly believes that we need a new stronger framework for transatlantic data transfers that will replace the old Safe Harbour. I am convinced that such a general arrangement is the best way to protect our citizen's data in an age of ever-increasing commercial data transfers across the Atlantic. It is important not only for transatlantic commercial relations, but first and foremost for our own citizens and businesses. Only a comprehensive framework will with commitments and enforcement by the US authorities can ensure in practice the level of data protection Europeans deserve and are entitled to under EU data protection law. I therefore urge our American partners to take the necessary steps to establish this new framework, one that contains limitations to government access to data and the necessary safeguards including judicial control.
||Departure of the Speakers